SilverStone Primera PM01 ReviewManufacturer: SilverStone
UK price (as reviewed): £89.99 (inc VAT)
US price (as reviewed): $119.99 (ex Tax)
With all the graphics cards that have been released recently, other hardware launches have been somewhat overshadowed. SilverStone, of course, is not a GPU manufacturer, but it has slipped out a new chassis, the Primera PM01, in the last few months. It's an ATX tower chassis that, like many a SilverStone case, promises excellent airflow capabilities and low system temperatures. We couldn't let such a claim go untested, so we're here to put it through its paces.
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The first word that came to mind when we got the PM01 out was 'glossy'. Be it the metal side panels or the plastic roof and front ones, this case has a highly reflective coating. Honestly, we can't say much positive about this as it turns the case into a giant fingerprint and dust magnet and without gloves it's impossible not to leave traces of your grubby little mitts all over the outside. SilverStone does list a matt black version of the case on its website, but it's not a model that appears to be available in the UK.
The design is pretty bulky, especially at the top and front, but the space isn't wasted as these areas can be used for water-cooling, as will be seen. The quality of the plastic here isn't bad as it feels sturdy, but the steel panels are weaker than we'd like, especially the left one, where the large window compromises its rigidity. Nonetheless, when the case is closed up it's a solid enough unit, and it stands firm on its four rubber feet.
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As is commonplace these days, SilverStone has opted not to include any 5.25in bays. Instead, the front panel comprises a single large mesh section. This grill, supposedly inspired by supercar intake grills, acts to give the trio of 140mm LED fans behind it almost unrestricted access to cool air. These are complemented by a fourth 140mm fan fitted as a rear exhaust on height-adjustable mounting struts. Such a setup gives the PM01 a positive air pressure design which will force additional hot air to exhaust naturally through the rear vents – SilverStone has used similar designs with much success in the past. We must say it's also quite impressive to see four 140mm fans in a £90 chassis.
The I/O panel is top-mounted, which makes sense for a case this tall as it's likely to see beneath the desk rather than on it. The audio and USB ports will cover most needs, although it should be noted that there's no reset button and no external fan control. What you do get is an LED button, used to switch the fan and internal LEDs between three levels of brightness or off completely. In this black version of the chassis, the LEDs are all red, whereas on the white version they're blue.
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The front fans are shielded by a full-height dust filter. This is removable but it's contained within the front panel, and you need to partially disassemble the case to access it. With the solid roof covering, there's no need for a filter up there, while the PSU has a standard slide-out filter that's nice and easy to remove and replace.
- Dimensions (mm) 220 x 560 x 571 (W x D x H)
- Material Steel, plastic
- Available colours Black with red LEDs or white with blue LEDs
- Weight 9kg
- Front panel Power, 2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0, stereo, microphone
- Drive bays 4 x 3.5/2.5in, 5 x 2.5in
- Form factor(s) ATX, micro-ATX
- Cooling 3 x 140mm/120mm front fan mounts (3 x 140mm fans included), 1 x 140mm/120mm rear fan mount (140mm fan included), 2 x 140mm or 3 x 120mm roof fan mounts (fans not included)
- CPU cooler clearance 180mm
- Maximum graphics card length 419mm
- Extras Removable dust filters, controllable internal LEDs, 10-port fan hub